Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tests positive for Covid on eve of Africa Cup of Nations

Aubameyang will now miss Gabon’s opening game against Comoros on Monday

Dylan Terry
Thursday 06 January 2022 15:58
<p>Aubameyang has made the trip to Cameroon for the international tournament</p>

Aubameyang has made the trip to Cameroon for the international tournament

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has tested positive for coronavirus just days before he was scheduled to begin his Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Gabon.

The 32-year-old, who is the skipper for the Gabonese national team, has not featured since being stripped of his club captaincy due to a disciplinary breach.

And upon arrival at the Yaounde airport in Cameroon, both Aubameyang and Nice midfielder Mario Lemina returned positive lateral flow tests.

The tournament, which is being held in Cameroon, gets underway on Sunday when the hosts face Burkina Faso.

Then on Monday Gabon are set to play their first match when they take on Comoros.

It is unclear when Aubameyang will be available but he could also miss Gabon’s second Cup of Nations game against Ghana on Friday 14 January. Their third match then comes against Morocco four days later.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward has not been selected by manager Mikel Arteta since the disciplinary breach in the middle of December - which involved Aubameyang reporting back late from a trip abroad.

In the wake of the incident, Arteta said: “The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear – it is because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed, as simple as that.

“What I expect from any person in this football club, that is representing this badge, is passion and that he gives absolutely 100 per cent, that he puts the club in front of any personal interests and is able to do anything to fulfil the badge we have on the chest.

“Apart from that, you can listen to individuals and you can understand different cultures, but that commitment and passion has to be there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

“I am here to make the right decision every day and to defend the club, to be consistent in something that we want to do, on and off the field. We have to be consistent in our decision-making.”

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